In March of 2014, the Detroit Tigers announced they had signed future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera to an 8-year, $248 million contract. At the time, if you added the two years Cabrera had left on his contract, it made the deal worth $292 million over 10 years.
After signing the extension, Cabrera told reporters that he wanted to finish his career with the Tigers and that he had a responsibility to bring a championship to Detroit.
“I want to finish my career here,” Cabrera said at the time. “I want to be a Tiger for many years to come. I have a big responsibility here, I want to work hard and get better and help my team to win games and win a championship.”
“I feel comfortable here,” Cabrera continued. “We’ve gone through a lot of good years together. The last few years, we’ve been in the playoffs. This is going to be a great team for many years to come. This is a great organization. We have a great owner. We have a great front office.
“They make you feel comfortable here. They make you feel like this is your house, this is the place you want to be. I have a house in Detroit. We have great fans in Detroit. We have a great ballpark. I love to play in Detroit. I want to be part of it for a long time.”
Miguel Cabrera has ‘Top 10 worst contract’ in MLB
At the time, Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski said that signing Miguel Cabrera to what was then the biggest contract in MLB history, was a no-brainer.
“I realize other people may think otherwise, but when you get to one year away, that lure of free agency becomes very large for a player that is a very good player,” Dombrowski said. “Secondly, they get a lot of additional pressure on themselves to test that market. Perhaps if you had something that you needed to observe on the player, I could understand that. I don’t think we need to observe Miguel’s ability. …
“I know that people will look at it and say, ‘This is the largest contract out there,’ and understandably so. The dollars generally don’t go down with other contracts. So for me, this was the optimum time.”
I know Albert Pujols, I know Alex Rodriguez, but I don’t know them,” Dombrowski said. “And I’m sure that their organizations felt comfortable [signing the contracts] at the time. But I know [Cabrera], and I know how dedicated and hard-working he is. And he wanted to be here.”
In a list put out by Tim Kelly of Audacy, he ranked Cabrera’s contract as the sixth-worst in Major League Baseball
6. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
Initial Deal: Eight Years and $248 Million
Amount Remaining: $40 Million Due After 2022
Cabrera is one of the greatest hitters in MLB history, and his Hall of Fame plaque will feature a Tigers hat one day. With that said, Cabrera has been an ineffective player for the better part of the last half decade. The two-time American League MVP has said that 2023 — the final guaranteed year of his contract — will be the final of his illustrious career. Cabrera is due $32 million in 2023, with the Tigers also nearly certain to take the $8 million buyout on his $30 million club option for 2024.
Nation, looking back, was it the right move to sign Miguel Cabrera to an 8-year extension?